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  #46  
Old 11-19-2012, 09:59 AM
SI1020 SI1020 is offline
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Originally Posted by chicagowhitesox1 View Post
I could be wrong on this but Brett Lawrie was on his way to having a monster WAR season and most of it was due to his defense. The BlueJays would often position him in the outfield which made his range seem far greater which made him look like Brooks Robinson on paper. If this is correct then by all means you are right.

It's hard for me to believe that in 16 seasons Konerko has only gotten a 25.3 career WAR. Meanwhile in 7 seasons Ben Zobrist has gotten a 25.4 career WAR. There's no way Ben Zobrist has had a better career than Konerko. I don't disagree with Zobrist's numbers but I do disagree with how Konerko is viewed and it is because of his defense for the most part on why he is so low.
If I had the time and energy I could point out countless examples going all the way back to Bill James' original big hit Total Baseball. I'd also like to point out AGAIN, that way back in the Stone Age when I first began to play and follow baseball it was not unknown that the metrics we used (we didn't call them that) were flawed. My all time favorite White Sox player is Billy Pierce. I never thought that Whitey Ford was that much better than Pierce, if in fact he was better at all. It's easier to pitch when Mantle, Maris, Skowron, Berra, Howard etc have staked you to an early 3-5 run lead then when you know if you make one big mistake you're probably going to lose. Pierce is one player that really suffered in the HOF voting because of strict adherence to the established ways of looking at players. Back to Konerko. If there's one thing I want defensively from my 1B man it is to dig out those errant throws. He's not a Vic Power or George Scott when it comes to that, but he's damn good. Another reason why you can look fish eyed at your other infielders fielding percentages, they can be so much at the mercy of your 1B man. Even one like Konerko who is considered a dog by the saber people.

Last edited by SI1020; 11-19-2012 at 10:06 AM.
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  #47  
Old 11-19-2012, 11:13 AM
Zisk77 Zisk77 is offline
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The problem is with defensive metrics is that they consider range. However, 1b is a reaction and not a range position. All 1b man with range do is take balls away from easy chances for 2nd baseman and forces pitchers to cover the bag because the 1b man is out of position.
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  #48  
Old 11-19-2012, 12:22 PM
SI1020 SI1020 is offline
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Originally Posted by doublem23 View Post
WAR is influenced by position so if 2 players have identical stat lines, but one is a middle infielder while the other is a first baseman, the middle infielder's WAR will be higher than the 1B since you expect to generate a lot more offense from your corner IF/OF than your infielders. Zobrist has played over 60% of his career games either at 2B or SS, so his offensive contributions are generally much greater than the league average middle infielder than Konerko, who, for most of his career, was just kind of an average offensive 1B.
They totally mangled their computations. On a whim it seems. The radical shifting of WAR ratings and rankings, particularly DWAR last spring rendered them useless in my opinion. This is what I meant by the Winston Smith remark. As Frater said we're not afraid of math, or of progress I might add. This is just BS. Lipstick on a pig.
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  #49  
Old 11-19-2012, 12:42 PM
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They totally mangled their computations. On a whim it seems. The radical shifting of WAR ratings and rankings, particularly DWAR last spring rendered them useless in my opinion. This is what I meant by the Winston Smith remark. As Frater said we're not afraid of math, or of progress I might add. This is just BS. Lipstick on a pig.
If you have some understanding of what these stats are measuring and how they are formulated, and still don't want to put any stock into them, that is fine. Who am I to judge? I find batting average, pitcher's W-L record, and fielding percentage to all be increadibly useless, archiac numbers with no actual meaning. If that is how you feel about WAR and dWAR, that's just your opinion. As long as it is coming from a position of knowledge and not ignorance, is all right. I only object to the small (but vocal) sect of people who simply refute new, sabremetric stats as mental masturbation that is the work of demon number wizardry.
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  #50  
Old 11-19-2012, 01:46 PM
WhiteSox5187 WhiteSox5187 is offline
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But that's the point, errors don't tell you anything that you don't need to verify with your own two eyes. Obviously I can tell you who are good and bad defenders on the Sox because I watch them 140-150 times per year, but I can't do that for the other 29 teams. I can't tell you how many times in the last 50-60 games this past year that a ball would be sharply hit in the direction of 3B that Youkilis would just simply watch go by him becauss he had literally no lateral movement left in his legs. No error, because he didn't come close to making any kind of play, but a ball you would clearly expect a MLB 3B to at least knock down, if not have a shot at. I don't know what Youkilis's fielding percentage was last year for the Sox (again, because, who cares?) but I can tell you he was a crappy 3B for most of the 2nd half.
I think that errors can serve as sort of a red flag for teams you don't watch everyday. Lets say the Tigers have a first baseman who makes something like 40 errors, you can look at that and say "Whoa! That's a high number of errors!" There might be extenuating circumstances obviously (this is usually the case with middle infielders) but it serves as a good way to garner some cursory information into a guy's defense. It doesn't tell the whole story obviously but I think some information can be gleaned from the number of errors a guy has.
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  #51  
Old 11-19-2012, 02:15 PM
TDog TDog is online now
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If you have some understanding of what these stats are measuring and how they are formulated, and still don't want to put any stock into them, that is fine. Who am I to judge? I find batting average, pitcher's W-L record, and fielding percentage to all be increadibly useless, archiac numbers with no actual meaning. If that is how you feel about WAR and dWAR, that's just your opinion. As long as it is coming from a position of knowledge and not ignorance, is all right. I only object to the small (but vocal) sect of people who simply refute new, sabremetric stats as mental masturbation that is the work of demon number wizardry.
I'm not coming at this from a position of ignorance. I was reading Earnshaw Cook before I was reading Bill James. For all I know, I was reading Cook before James was reading Cook. (I've even read Robert Adair, who wrote about the actual science of baseball, unlike Cook and James, but it is relevant because people who know me have always considered me quite the baseball nerd.) The problem I have isn't that this numbers frighten and confuse me as if I am some unfrozen caveman baseball fan, but that I disagree with their validity on several levels, including my belief that they aren't predictive and that they don't keep up with the curve of what winning requires at the major league level.

Saying batting average is a useless stat not unlike a traditionalist saying OPS is a useless stat. Really, when you get down to it, OPS is a contrived stat, adding two averages, both of which have a foundation of batting average. But one difference is that the people who believe in sabermetics and argue that they are more meaningful than traditional stats believe they have much more meaning than fans place on traditional stats.

At the same time, the idea that on-base percentage is more important than batting average is seriously flawed. You want your lead-off man to reach base. You don't particularly care how. The problem is that scoring runs and winning games isn't only about putting men on base, as Ken Harrelson would tell you if he weren't seething in silence over the White Sox sqandering scoring opportunities in a close game. When your RBI men comes up with runners on base, their on-base percentages are irrelevant. You want them to drive in the runs with hits or productive outs depending on the situation. I want my No. 3 hitter to have a big batting average. In 2012, the No. 3 hitter for the White Sox had more RBI chances than any other position in the lineup. The fact that it had an overall .210 batting average, second worst on the team, is more telling than the fact that it had an .800 OPS, third best on the team. I don't have a statistical formula for how many games the White Sox would have won with a higher batting average serving as a foundation for the .800 OPS, just as I don't have a formula for how many games Konerko's lack of range cost the White Sox while ignoring throws in the dirt on inning-ending, men-on third double plays in close games.

Baseball isn't some Newtonian universe that exists in a vacuum of perfect spheres. It is chaos. I once asked former AL All-Star shorttop Jim Fregosi what his range factor was just to see the look on his face. Baseball is about coaches position players. It's about bad hops. It's about stealing signs. It's about a lot of things, but it isn't about that statistics that fall out or that people create because they are disatisfied that the statistics that fall out don't tell them more. In any given situation, OPS can be more useless than batting average and WHIP can be more meanigless as wins and losses (as fans who have followed Gavin Floyd may have noticed).

Condemning people for not accepting your stats is as bad as people condeming your stats for theirs. And I hope the traditionalists aren't as smug as the sabermetrics people.
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  #52  
Old 11-19-2012, 02:22 PM
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Condemning people for not accepting your stats is as bad as people condeming your stats for theirs. And I hope the traditionalists aren't as smug as the sabermetrics people.
too late

http://www.freep.com/article/2012111.../1050/sports02
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  #53  
Old 11-19-2012, 03:29 PM
Domeshot17 Domeshot17 is offline
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I think people tend to, overate, PK's ability to pick it. He is great at it, but, using the traditionalist eye test, he has been missing more throws lately. Furthermore, most mlb first basemen are pretty solid at this skill. I am in agreement PK is probably in the top 50% here, but he is easily in the bottom 50% of Range. In the future, him moving to DH and getting a younger, more athletic 1b would be essential.
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  #54  
Old 11-19-2012, 03:30 PM
Domeshot17 Domeshot17 is offline
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Originally Posted by Zisk77 View Post
The problem is with defensive metrics is that they consider range. However, 1b is a reaction and not a range position. All 1b man with range do is take balls away from easy chances for 2nd baseman and forces pitchers to cover the bag because the 1b man is out of position.
This is very incorrect.
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  #55  
Old 11-19-2012, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Domeshot17 View Post
This is very incorrect.
And this is a very unhelpful post.

If you're going to say he's incorrect, at least give a reasoned response as to why you say he'd incorrect.
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  #56  
Old 11-19-2012, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Domeshot17 View Post
I think people tend to, overate, PK's ability to pick it. He is great at it, but, using the traditionalist eye test, he has been missing more throws lately. Furthermore, most mlb first basemen are pretty solid at this skill. I am in agreement PK is probably in the top 50% here, but he is easily in the bottom 50% of Range. In the future, him moving to DH and getting a younger, more athletic 1b would be essential.
To the best of my knowlege, there is no objective measure of a first baseman's ability to catch poor throws. A throw in the dirt that goes as an error isn't going to go to the first baseman even if the bounce is long and true. There is no universally accepted degree of difficulty for the angle of a bounce on a throw in the dirt. The official scoring default is that the throw is bad and the first baseman is exceeding normal effort to field it. The same applies for throws where the first baseman has to come off the bag and tag the runner coming down the line. The records only show that a fielder fielded the ball and threw to first to get the out. The difficulty in fielding the throw is ignored, at least officially.

I agree that most professional first basemen dig balls out of the dirt. It is something they work on. Some are better at it than others. Konerko is much better at it than Dunn. On the Giants, Belt is much better at it than Posey. Players who are moved to first base to keep their bat in the lineup tends to make for weaker infields. Dick Allen, when he was with the Sox, blamed his high error total as a Phillies third baseman on Dick Stuart (aka Dr. Strangeglove) playing first much of the time. But even Fielder, who isn't particular good at digging balls out of the dirt, with sometimes field balls in the dirt. Often if a player has a reupation at being good at something, his failures are more noticable and vice versa.

You can't go back and see how many games Fielder won or lost on throws in the dirt by looking at the game summaries. But he led AL first baseman in errors, and it wasn't because he was ranging far off the base, spinning and throwing to a base where the pitcher failed to cover. You actually can find games Tigers games that lost in large part because of late Fielder errors. I don't know if that matches what his defensive numbers say, however.
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  #57  
Old 11-19-2012, 05:57 PM
Zisk77 Zisk77 is offline
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This is very incorrect.

No it isn't...see I can do that too.
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  #58  
Old 11-19-2012, 07:36 PM
Domeshot17 Domeshot17 is offline
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No it isn't...see I can do that too.
Sorry, I actually wanted to finish my comment and got called into a meeting at work. I wish work would get its priorities straight haha.

Anyway, I played first base through college, and I do agree its a more reactionary position. However, range is huge to that reaction. In the MLB most 1b play at the back of the dirt. The ability to get 2 more steps than a less mobile 1b is often the difference between a double and an out. Furthermore, more agility means more balls get caught when diving. A good example that should be fresh is Derek Lee. He could pick it as good as anyone, but he also could get up and catch a high throw (PK doesn't do that well) and also sucked up anything in his vicinity. PK can stab anything hit directly at him, but Range for a 1b is a very important step or 2 to the right and left, and PK does not do that well.
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  #59  
Old 11-19-2012, 08:01 PM
SI1020 SI1020 is offline
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Originally Posted by doublem23 View Post
If you have some understanding of what these stats are measuring and how they are formulated, and still don't want to put any stock into them, that is fine. Who am I to judge? I find batting average, pitcher's W-L record, and fielding percentage to all be increadibly useless, archiac numbers with no actual meaning. If that is how you feel about WAR and dWAR, that's just your opinion. As long as it is coming from a position of knowledge and not ignorance, is all right. I only object to the small (but vocal) sect of people who simply refute new, sabremetric stats as mental masturbation that is the work of demon number wizardry.
Things are changing. King Felix got his Cy Young, deservedly so I might add.
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  #60  
Old 11-19-2012, 09:28 PM
TheVulture TheVulture is offline
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Seems like if WAR is actually measuring relative value of a player to a replacement specifically at his position, the relative value would have to be based on the average or median of production at that position, and therefore the net sum of all WARs would be zero or close to it. However,every team in the American League has a positive net offensive WAR while the league total is 264. I don't see how that can be a valid stat if the net is 264. How could a league have 264 more wins? I don't think they dominated the NL that much, the NL has 251! Where did they get all these wins? Last I checked the league went .500 - again.
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